So that's the challenge of the week, which if it all ends right, could boost the Cowboys in the minds of the NCAA Tournament committee. Most analysts project OSU as a No. 4 or 5 seed currently. Yet a No. 3 could possibly be had, considering K-State holds that distinction with the bracketologists now.
“These are quality games, like it'll be the rest of the way,” said Cowboys center Philip Jurick. “But like coach says, ‘We've just got to go 1-0 from now on.'
“And see how far it takes us.”
It all starts in Ames, where the Cyclones have lost but once in league play, in overtime to Kansas. And where it will be Senior Night at Hilton Coliseum, with six players playing their final home game; so emotional for sure. And where one of the Big 12's best home crowds will surely be stoked and more emotional.
And then there's Hilton Magic, which came into play last season, when Scott Christopherson banked in a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to sink the Cowboys.
Up until a month ago, this would have sniffed of a sure loss, with OSU still lugging around three seasons worth of road woes.
Now, however, the Cowboys have won five straight on the Big 12 road and carry no hint of fear into enemy arenas.
“Don't fear anybody,” Williams said.
And these Cowboys can't fear the opportunity ahead.
“This week is a good week,” Ford said. “This is kind of an NCAA, Big 12 Tournament type of week for us. These are the type of teams you're going to see. For us, it's a great test to hopefully prepare us for postseason play, as well as trying to win basketball games.”
No. 13 Oklahoma State at Iowa State
* When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
* Where: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
* TV: ESPNU (Cox 253/HD 718; U-Verse 605/HD 1605; Dish 141; DirecTV 208)
* Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1
Three things to know
* Iowa State has won 10 of its last 14 Senior Night contests.
* The series has become defined by drama, with last-second shots and tight contests. The past four games — three of them OSU wins — have either been decided by three points or less or gone to overtime.
* The Cyclones, who lead the nation in made 3-pointers per game (9.9), have six players with 20 or more 3s.